I love seeing the fire in someones eyes when they talk about their goals. If your eyes light up when you begin talking about the things you want to accomplish, then there is a passion there that will drive them to put in the work. But goals are one thing – and reaching them is another.
The coach in me is inclined to try and adjust their perception about what’s possible. Wait wait hold on a second, ANYTHING is possible. However, is it possible or likely within the time they have given themselves? If right from the get-go you haven’t set up your goals to be time appropriate, they are going to work against you.
So that’s tip number 1: Always be time-specific when setting goals – but also, be realistic.
You don’t want to set yourself up for failure. If you try to accomplish something in an unrealistic time span and you don’t get it, you might be inclined to internalize that failure. Try not to think of it that way. Instead, imagine that maybe your goal just needed some slight adjusting.
I also often hear people share goals and I get the feeling that the individual doesn’t know how complicated or difficult the task itself will be. The best example of this would be when I hear: “I want to lean out, and put on a lot of muscle also”.
Well, this is a complicated request. You’re demanding two different processes from your body, and those processes don’t exactly fit together. One on hand, you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight or “lean out”. The higher the deficit the faster you will lose. On the other hand, you want to make gains – and the absolute easiest way to do this is to put on weight. Bring on the carbs.
I’m not saying lean gains aren’t possible. But what I’m saying is that the process is a lot longer and more difficult and complicated than one realizes. So if you want to make lean gains, give yourself more TIME. Lots and lots of time.
These things don’t just happen overnight. I remember when I first started going to the gym I was intensely focused on getting abs. I thought it would take me a couple of months, max. It took me one year! One year of hard work to transform my core. Fitness has taught me a lesson in patience I’d never known before.
I think a lot of people put unrealistic and sometimes unhealthy time constraints on their goals. If you want to lose weight that’s great, but don’t shoot to lost 8 lbs every week because there is no truly healthy way to accomplish that!!
Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t be so hard on your body. Be consistent and give yourself time. Consistency is key!
Of course, there is another polar end to this issue which is giving yourself too much time. Goals are important because they help us hold ourselves accountable. Studies have shown that the more specific the goal, the more likely we are to achieve it. So don’t scrap the time constraint all together.
Any great gym lover knows that fitness is a game of consistency. Sometimes you feel like what you’re doing isn’t getting you anywhere, but those are the days when you need to stick with it and keep going. Keep eating according to your goals, keep showing up at the gym and giving it your all. Keep a positive mindset and believe that you will get there before you even see it.
Create goals that make sense and work FOR you, and you will set yourself up for greater success!